Before drawing the opening hand, each fighter chooses any one grade 0 card from their deck and places it on the vanguard circle face down. This card is known as the player's "first vanguard". Once all fighters are ready to start, they call out, "Stand up, Vanguard!" and turn their first vanguards face up.
Although it is removed at the start of the game, the first vanguard counts toward the deck's requirement of 50 cards, so it cannot have a different sleeve from the other cards.
According to the official restrictions, a card may be restricted from being used as a first vanguard. This is often done because the card has an extremely useful ability that was deemed unfair to allow a player to have access to it from the start of the game. A card being restricted from being a first vanguard does not affect the number of that card that may be included in a deck; it is simply not allowed to be chosen it as a first vanguard.